Virginia Beach, Virginia

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Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is considered a county-equivalent. The city's population is 437,994,[1] and the metropolitan area has 1.67 million people.[2] Virginia Beach and Princess Anne County combined governments in 1963.[3]

Public employees

City council

Virginia Beach's 11 city council members are elected for four-year terms on a staggered basis. Three council members and the mayor are elected at-large; the rest must live in the district they represent.[4]

City manager

Virginia Beach's city manager is James K. Spore.[5]

Retirement system

Pensions

Most Virginia Beach is part of the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), a multi-employer, defined-benefit pension plan. The city's accrued liabilities for the plan are $1,382,172,898, and it is 91.78% funded, with $13,770,896 in unfunded liabilities. The annual pension cost in 2010 was $46,752,410 for the city and $4,784,471 for the school board.[6]

The Sheriff’s Supplemental Retirement Plan is a defined-contribution plan.[6]

OPEBs

The city is required to make contributions to its other post-employment retirement benefits (OPEBs) on a pay-as-you-go financing basis. In 2010, the city paid $8,854,121 for OPEBS and the school board paid $8,881,926.

OPEB Funding Status[6]
City School Board
Actuarial accrued liability (AAL) $79,295,953 $75,347,493
Actuarial value of plan assets $9,558,773 $8,648,413
Unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL) $69,737,180 $66,699,080
Funded ratio (Assets/AAL) 12.1% 11.5%
Covered payroll $285,407,357 $432,476,829
UAAL as a percentage of covered payroll 24.4% 15.4%

Budget

The city and schools expect a combined $90 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2012-13.[7]

Budget Revenues[8]
Source 2010-11 Revenues 2011-12 Revenues
Real estate $473,644,801 $460,260,000
Personal property $118,574,744 $123,689,318
General sales $50,596,245 $52,958,340
Utility tax $24,235,300 $24,514,911
VA telecomm $22,017,919 $20,146,396
Business license $40,771,644 $41,342,542
Cable franchise $6,538,943 $7,012,363
Restaurant tax $48,188,033 $51,752,268
Amusement tax $5,700,550 $5,339,451
Hotel room tax $22,659,486 $25,145,197
Cigarette tax $12,721,345 $11,778,927
Fund balance $51,107,990 $51,562,553
Utility fees $120,448,622 $132,916,114
Other $138,120,674 $127,845,228
Waste collection fee - $7,000,000
State revenue $439,041,045 $435,290,683
Federal revenue $128,470,021 $153,891,976
Prior year local public funds - $9,200,000
Total Revenue $1,703,837,362 $1,742,646,267
2012 Budget Expenditures by Service Area[8]
Service Area % of $1.74 billion total budget
Education 49%
Financial/General Gov't 8%
Human Services/Health/Housing 8%
Parks & Rec, Libraries, & Museums 4%
Public Works & Public Utilities 12%
City Capital Projects 2%
Public Safety 11%
Convention & Visitor & Econ. Dev. 3%
Debt Service 3%
2012 Budget Expenditures by Account[8]
Account 2010-11 Adjusted 2011-12 Adopted
Personnel $783,287,584 $804,166,338
Fringe Benefits $243,751,332 $258,589,755
Operating Expenses $452,451,048 $446,138,571
Capital Outlay $14,283,659 $13,795,390
Debt Service $147,277,622 $148,614,496
Pay-As-You-Go $34,346,430 $40,959,979
Reserves $28,439,687 $30,381,738
Total Expenditures $1,703,837,362 $1,742,646,267

Taxes

The base real estate tax rate is $0.89 per $100 of assessed value.[9]

Personal property taxes for most vehicles are $3.70 per $100 of assessed value.[10]

Lobbying

Main article: Virginia government sector lobbying

Virginia Beach pays for services of the lobbying firm Alcade & Fay.[11]

Economic development

In December 2011, the city council is considering spending $62 million to support the development of a hotel across from the city's convention center. $19 million of that would be in loans. Supporters say the project would create jobs and could bring in up to $88.7 million in added revenue annually.[12]

Website evaluation

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Transparency grading process
Main article: Evaluation of Virginia county websites

This website was reviewed Feb. 12, 2013.

The good

  • Elected Officials
    • Contact information for elected officials is posted.[13]
  • Meetings
    • Agendas and minutes for current sessions are posted.[14]
    • Agendas and minutes are archived.[15]
  • Administration
    • Administrative officials are listed with contact information.[16]
  • Taxes
    • Local tax rates are posted.[10]
  • Audits
    • Audits are posted.[17]
    • Audits are archived to 2006.
  • Contracts
    • Bid opportunities are posted,[18]
    • Awarded bids are posted.[19]
  • Budget
    • Budgets are posted.[20]
    • Budgets are archived to 2006.
  • Zoning and Permits
    • Zoning information is available,[21]
    • Building permits are posted.[22]
  • Public Records

The bad

External links

References